Yellowstone National Park in the United States is home to a very large and famous volcano. If it ever woke up it would simply plunge earth into a volcanic winter, creating serious consequences for humanity. And now it seems that scientist have discovered that the forces that drive these events can move more rapidly than previously anticipated. Bad news for us.
Previously it was assumed that new magma entering the system would take milleniums to provoke an eruption, but in fact it could take only decades. A big time difference.
Scientists analyzed crystals that were left in the volcanic leftovers from the last eruption. Each crystal was once inside the magma underground and as they grow layers outwards they record changes in water content, temperature and pressure similar to tree rings. And the crystals recorded a clear up tick in temperature and a change in composition on a rapid time scale. I’m crossing my fingers and hope nothing happens as I type this….